Watch: Lil Nas X Responds After Catching Heat for Sizzling Smooch With Backup Dancer

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday June 29, 2021

Out and proud rapper Lil Nas X turned up the heat with a sizzling coda to his 2021 BET Awards performance on June 27 when he leaned in for a passionate smooch with his backup dancer while holding another close to his side. The snog drew some flames on social media, CNN reported, but the rapper blazed right back at his detractors.

Nas X "paid homage to Michael Jackson's 'Remember The Time' music video during his Egyptian-themed performance of his single, 'Montero (Call Me by Your Name),'" CNN recounted.

When the song concluded with the impassioned clench, the rapper got "a standing ovation from some members of the audience, including 'Pose' star Mj Rodriguez," the article went on to say.

Online, the plaudits continued, with the legendary hip-hop producer Sean "Diddy" Combs among those to shower the 22-year-old with praises.

Nas X's wardrobe also drew recognition on Twitter, notably from Vogue, which hailed his "looks" as "his best yet."

But others on social media made haste to express their unhappiness, per CNN's report.

"After one person tweeted that the rapper shouldn't have used African culture for such a display, admonishing that he should 'respect our ancestors,'" the outlet detailed. Lil Nas X clapped back by tweeting, "Y'all really like to pretend homosexuality didn't exist in african culture."

Nas X also responded to critics who slammed his wardrobe, claimed his performance was inappropriate for children to watch, and accused him of being "insecure" about his own sexuality. The rapper responded that he was indeed "insecure" because a homophobic society had taught him to be.

To another, he pointed out that the song is "literally about gay sex."

Twitter users rallied around the recording artist as he took his stand against trolls.

In another tweet, the rapper admitted that, despite his bold performance, he still feels shy and unsure, and expressed his gratitude to his fans for their support.

This isn't the first time "Montero (Call Me by Your Name)" has sparked controversy. As soon as the song's video premiered — in which Nas X descends to Hell, performs a pole dance, and seduces the Devil himself — critics were clutching their pearls in shock.

What's more, the release of a specially modified line of Nike Air Max 97s — the so-called "Satan Shoes," 666 pairs of which were altered and sold by MSCHF without permission — prompted more outrage as well as a lawsuit from Nike, which claimed its sales had been affected by public confusion concerning whether the company had authorized the controversial shoe design.

That suit has since been settled out of court.

Nas X's BET Awards performance was also shared on Twitter. Watch the clip below:

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.